International Conference 2011 - Touching the Past
This year's International Conference took the theme 'Touching the Past'. It was devised by North Lands Creative Glass Artistic Director Mieke Groot and organisted by Conference Organiser Joanna Garrett.

The Conference was photographed by Bam Photography

2011 Conference ‘Touching the Past’ included the following sessions and activities:


‘Diaghilev in the Museum’ Keynote Presentation
Jane Pritchard, co-curator of the exhibiton ‘Diagilev and the Golden Age of the Ballets Russes 1909-1929′, is Curator of Dance at the V&A. She has had a distinguished career recording and promoting many aspects of contemporary and historic dance.

‘Following a Pattern – in Life and Death’
Award winning journalist Louise Tait will show how her fascination with the stories of the Ganseys of North East Scotland informs her new work.

‘Out of Thin Air’
Michael Rogers title for his lecture, ‘Out of Thin Air’, refers to the impetus for his work, where it comes from. These are all the passing moments of life, which he seeks to capture and preserve in his work.

‘You can’t lay down your memories’
A new approach to how jewellery is considered by art historians and almost everybody else. Marjan Unger is an art historian and a publicist. She was head of ‘Free Design’ at the Sandburg Institute, the post-graduate course at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam and in 2010 she received her doctorate in art history on the subject of jewellery.

‘My mytho-poetic impulse’
Cappy Thompson says: ‘As a glass painter, I combine two ancient lineages in my work – that of the medieval artists who painted on stained glass and that of the Greek artisans who painted on clay pots. The panel and vessel forms I paint on pull my work in opposite directions.

guided tour of Sinclair Girnigoe Castle former seat of the Earls of Caithness.

Conference Party


‘Long live the President’
Design, memory and propaganda. Paul Faber is an art historian, writer and senior curator of Africa at The Museum of the Tropics in Amsterdam. Paul will speak about the prints, created after independence in Africa, that are fascinating examples of contemporary design, social communication and historical documents in one.

‘Creatures born of the Bohemian Forest’
Ivana Šrámková’s colourful cast glass sculptures often depict fantasy animals. Ivana will offer us insights into her work, her motivations for making art, her thoughts about glass as a material and her lifelong joy in making.

Demonstrations in the Alastair Pilkington Studio including enamel painting by Cappy Thompson and engraving by Denis Mann.

Philip Eglin habitually references an eclectic array of historical and contemporary sources in a variety of media. His talk will focus on how through these ‘borrowings’ he endeavours to reinterpret and reinvigorate a broad range of art historical subjects, giving them a contemporary twist and thereby new meanings.

‘A Time for Reflection’
Tessa Clegg is an applied artist firmly rooted in Modernist thinking. Over the years the attitude and approach to applied art have undergone significant and important changes. Tessa will discuss some of these changes, which in her opinion are both many and ominous.

Question Time
Panel discussion, led by Tina Oldknow Curator of Modern Glass at the Corning Museum of Glass.
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